GroceryAid said it provided 17,492 incidences of support in 2020/21, with 4,200 colleagues receiving financial support.
The industry charity’s annual Impact Report shows that there has been a 47 per cent increase in incidences of emotional and practical support.
GroceryAid spent £5 million delivering emotional, practical and financial support to colleagues in need, and almost three in fourth (73%) of colleagues given financial support were of working age.
“We anticipated rising demand for the GroceryAid services and were able to provide assistance to record numbers reaching out for support,” commented Charles Wilson, GroceryAid president.
“This was possible as a result of the generosity from trade in backing the charity through an extraordinarily difficult period. This has been one of the biggest challenges the trade charity has faced in its 164 year history and the Impact Report demonstrates how we were able to accelerate our support available to colleagues when it mattered most.”
Last year, over 13,000 colleagues contacted the charity’s 24/7 Helpline, with a 148 per cent increase in relationship counselling and 40 per cent of all law advice sessions being family law.
Employers remain the top referrer to the charity for colleagues in need with the main reason for applications being financial hardship triggered by illness.
“We still have a long way to go for financial and emotional recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic. Our Covid-19 Fund remains open for those who need Mental Health Support, Financial Grants and Bereavement Financial Assistance. We know that normality for many of our colleagues is still far away. We will continue to be the rainbow after the storm and we are here for all colleagues in the grocery industry,” Mandi Leonard, GroceryAid welfare director, added.
The GroceryAid Helpline is available 24/7, 365 days a year: 08088 021 122